Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea) remains an important cause of reproductive and obstetric complications. There has been limited population-based research to evaluate the association between maternal gonorrhea and adverse birth outcomes.Methods
A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted of women with singleton pregnancies in Washington State from 2003 to 2014 using linked birth certificate and birth hospitalization discharge data. The exposed cohort consisted of women with gonorrhea diagnosed during pregnancy. The unexposed group, defined as pregnant women without gonorrhea, was selected by frequency-matching by birth year in a 4:1 ratio. Logistic regression was used to determine crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) for the association of maternal gonorrhea and adverse birth outcomes.Results
Women with gonorrhea during pregnancy (N = 819) were more likely to be younger, black, single, less educated, multiparous, and smokers compared with women without gonorrhea (N = 3276). Maternal gonorrhea was significantly associated with a 40% increased odds (adjusted OR, 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–1.8) of low birth weight infants compared with women without gonorrhea when adjusted for marital and smoking status. Maternal gonorrhea was associated with a 60% increased odds (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3–2.0) of small for gestational age infants compared with women without gonorrhea.Conclusions
This analysis showed that pregnant women with gonorrhea were more likely to have low birth weight infants, consistent with prior literature, and provided new evidence that maternal gonorrhea is associated with small for gestational age infants. These findings support increased public health efforts to prevent, identify, and treat gonorrhea infection during pregnancy.